Bird Watching

Bird Watching in Nepal

Nepal is a bird watcher's paradise with over 848 species (almost 10% of the world total) of birds. Among them, almost 500 are found in the Kathmandu Valley alone. The surrounding hills offer a varied ecology ranging from primary and secondary forests to rhododendron, oak and pine forests. In addition, the wetlands and opend fields inside the Valley make up a diverse habitat for many species of birds.

The most popular bird watching spot is the Phulchoki hill, the highest peak on the Valley rim situated 20 Km south-east of Kathmandu, with some 265 species recorded till date. The birds seen here include babblers, warblers, tits, thrushes, minivets, woodpeckers, eagles and many migrant birds. Godavari, at the foot of Phulchoki hill where the Royal Botanical Garden is situated, records over 100 species of birds including the lesser Racket-tailed drongo, Tibetan siskin and the spotted forktail.

The Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve, situated 11 Km to the north of Kathmandu is another exciting location. Nagarjung Royal Forest, also known as Jamacho or Rani Ban, is situated 5 Km from Kathmandu on the way to Kakani from Balaju. It delights bird enthusiasts with Blue magpies, kalij pheasants, Bonelli's eagles, Great Himalayan barbets and other exotic birds. Gokarna forest, 7 Km to the northeast of Kathmandu, boasts the speckled Mountain thrush, orange-headed ground-thrush, brown wood owl and the white-bellied yuhina among other colorful varieties.  
As for the wetlands in the Valley, the banks of Manohara river on the way to Bhaktapur, and the Bagmati river, which flows into the Valley from Shivapuri hill and out through Chobhar Gorge, are good places for watching waders and waterfowls. Harboring 40 species of birds mostly dependent on wetlands, Taudaha, a lake on the way to Dakshinkali, attracts flocks of migrant birds.

Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park is located in the sub-tropical lowlands and consists of sal forests, tall grasslands, hills, oxbowlkaes and flood plains. Ornithologists have recorded more than 525 different species residential and migratory of birds in Chitwan National Park, including Bengal Florican, Giant Horn Bill, King fishers, Wabblers, Peacock, Babblers, magpies, forktails etc. Drive 5 hours or flight 25 minutes followed by 30 minutes drive.
Shivapuri Watershed & Wildlife Reserve

Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve situated 11 km to the north of Kathmandu, is another exciting location. Nagarjuna Forest , 5 km from Kathmandu on the way to Kakani from Balaju. Blue magpies, kalij pheasants, Bonelli;s eagles, Great Himalayan barbets and other exotic birds.

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Resort is situated in the Eastern Terai lowlands of Nepal. The vegetation here is mainly wetland grassland, scrub and deciduous forests. Over 300 species of birds including ibises, storks, egrets, herons, swamp partridges and Bengal Floricans are found here. Flight 50 minutes followed by one-hour drive.
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